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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Will The Real Angel Please Step Up?

Have you ever heard Alanis Morisette's song, "Hand In My Pocket?" When that song first came out, multiple people, including my own mother, told me that the song reminded them of me. My mom said it was because I was "a work of opposites." She specifically pointed out the "I'm brave but I'm chickenshit" line.

To this day, I still often think this is true. It is hard for me to figure out who I really am. Am I the Angel who lived on the streets at age 17, who moved across the country on her own for AmeriCorps, who twice took 3 day long Greyhound trips to California to visit her hippie brother,, who once drove to Missouri with four children, in a rented car, to attend a hippie camping festival? Or am I the Angel who gets nervous about leaving the house to go to Target? Am I the Angel who will do anything for anyone, or the Angel who is tired of everyone's bullshit and just wants to be left alone? Am I the Angel who loves kids and wants to be a foster parent someday, or the Angel who worries that the hypothetical children might upset her beloved little dog? Am I the Angel who longs to have friends, or the Angel who would rather stay home and read a book than go to a new Meetup gathering to meet new people? Am I the Angel who would dart down an alley and cross the street to avoid one of the Christian college students who tries to convert people in the park all day long, or am I the Angel who hums Christian hymns while she washes the dishes and secretly prays to God when she's scared? 

I don't even know how to answer a simple question like, "What kind of music do you like?" My iPod is a smorgasbord of random songs, where Eminem rubs elbows with the Grateful Dead, Charlie Daniels, and Raffi. I have an emotional connection to songs, so whether I like a song often depends a lot on where I am, who I'm with, and what I'm doing when I first hear it. 

And what kind of friends would I have, if I did have friends? Again, I have no clue. I've never fit into any one  group of people. I tend to linger on the fringes of whatever group of people I'm around. I once lived in a subsidized apartment building where almost everyone besides me was African American, including plenty of gang bangers and drug dealers. I was never scared there... I knew everyone, and everyone was kind to me, including the notorious "bad guys." I once lived with a Hispanic family for a while. I loved them dearly, even when they busted into Spanish in front of me and I had no clue what they were saying, and even when they tricked me into eating some sort of pig tongue soup. In high school I hung out with the stoners, even though I did not do drugs, because they accepted me more readily than any of the other kids did. I've hung out with ex-convicts. I tried to join a social group for adults with Aspergers Syndrome. For a while I joined Adult Children Of Alcoholics, where I hung out with a lot of recovering alcoholics who were in their 40's and 50's. (Yeah, I know it was Children Of Alcoholics, but apparently a lot of Children Of Alcoholics grow up to become Alcoholics themselves!) I considered all of these people my friends. But I never really felt completely comfortable with any of them. On some level, I never really connected with anyone. 

So who exactly am I? Who is Angel? Anybody know?

I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five
I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be quite alright
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chickenshit
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby

And what it all boils down to
Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is playing the piano
And what it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything's just fine fine fine
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxi cab

[Harmonica solo]

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